“How much longer are you going to be in India for?”
I’m not sure… but it’s something everyone wants to know. Anytime I think about leaving, I feel upset knowing that there’s so much more to India I want to see. It’s taken over my “travel” thoughts so much that I don’t even consider other countries. I do like balance, but I think until I fill myself up with this India madness, I won’t want to go gallivanting anywhere else. There are just too many beautiful places to see in India.
I’ve sadly not been to the northeast of India, nor have I been to the east coast. There is so much more to see in India!
My Wishlist: 5 cities to visit in India
Two are actually states as I’ve mentioned within the post, but the title “cities and states” was too long and “places” was too boring.. blogging probs!
1. Pondicherry (and Auroville).
Auro Beach, photo source flickr
fruit salesman photo source flickr
Pondi used to be a French colony and even now traces of that exist. One of the things I love about Goa is the Portuguese influence, so I’d really love to see what the French influence in India looks like. I hear the food is the bomb and Auroville hippie commune is the kind of place you’ll never want to leave (and some don’t). They are so legit that they have their own currency plus understandings with the government that they’re going to do things their own way. They’re experiencing a fair share of coastal erosion, so with Ben’s job who knows? I may end up here!
sikkim lake source
I’ve always wanted to go to this state, but even more so after reading Renuka’s posts about it. It’s got an Asian look and a mix of cultures since it’s bordered by Bhutan, Nepal, and China. The houses don’t look like typical Indian homes and it’s surrounded by wildflowers (40,000 different kinds if the internet is to be believed). I’m a sucker for wildflowers. They say if you climb from the Kanchenjunga base camp you can see Mt. Everest from afar. I’d love to try out from traditional medicine and take a hike to the famous hot springs.
darjeeling hills source
Not far from Sikkim and an easy train ride from Calcutta sits Darjeeling, a city known for its tea. I love tea and I’ve never been to a tea plantation. I’m interested in West Bengal in general but I want to spend time in the countryside. Darjeeling has become a UNESCO world heritage site. You can take a day trip to Jaldapara National Park and cross your fingers to see a leopard.
fields of Assam source
Also in the northeast, Assam is a state that is overlooked completely in tour books due to safety concerns. There are ethnic military groups having conflict, as well as Indian army involvement, much of which started way back when the British left and divided the area. Many Indian friends of mine have visited and brought back stories that make me want to go, although I probably won’t travel solo here. Assam is great during rainfall and they say it’s the greenest place in India. It has one of the most diverse rain forests in the world. It boasts a couple UNESCO sanctioned National Parks.
magnetic hill source
I don’t want to just be in Leh, I want to learn how to ride a bike and go from Manali to Leh like these Royal Enfield folks do. It’s been said that only the God’s should be allowed in a place this beautiful. High up in the Himalayas, covered in snow, and part of the historic silk route. Here you can see many monasteries and take part in all kinds of winter activities.
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I’ve never heard of most of the places on this list, but I can totally see why you’d want to visit all of them! Leh looks especially spectacular. I agree that it’s weird being in a country that has so much to offer. I’m kind of experiencing the same feeling now that I’m living in Jakarta. Part of me doesn’t want to visit any other country until I visit every Indonesian destination on my wishlist — which would take a lifetime!
I’m glad you can relate! I’d love to go to Indonesia.
hii can you write a blog post on chepest plases to live in goa like chepest places to buy property and all
Hi Priya, It’s on my list of things to do lol, and hope to have it up in the next month
What is your definition of ‘City’? Neither Sikkim or Assam are cities – but States. Darjeeling is a town in Darjeeling District of the State of West Bengal. In a previous post (27 August) about your favorite cities in India you listed Anjuna as a city. Since when? It is a village that has developed in to a tourist enclave, much like Chapora or Palolem have. Sorry to nit-pick but this is misleading information for would-be visitors.
Hi Mark, I’m aware they are states but for google (SEO) purposes It’s better for my site to say cities instead of “cities and states” or “places” . I am all about helping people on this site, but I also have to do what it takes to grow the site… also, it’s the same with town/city/village… it’s just a title.
Consider spending some time in Calcutta on your way to Darjeeling, Sikkim and Assam. It’s an interesting city.
Pondicherry sounds fascinating. I love seeing former colonies and how they blend the old colonial stuff with their own culture.
Agree! Goa has this with the Portuguese as well and I love it.
I would like to visit all of these!! Plus Goa, of course :)
Heck yeah, Goa is the bomb!
I know exactly how you feel. I feel so at home in Medellin and didn’t even want to go to the States for 2 weeks. I have no desire to see anywhere else and tearing myself away from Medellin brings me to tears too. We’re definitely meant where we are if we feel like this x
So true! It must be meant to be :)
I want to go to all these places, too! I was lucky enough to get to visit Assam and Meghalaya last year, and they were amazing. I have a friend in Shillong who took me to Cherrapunji, formerly the “wettest place on earth”, where we trekked for 3km to see the double decker root bridge. It was, hands down, one of the greatest days of my life. Definitely try and get up there if you can! And until you make it up to Darjeeling, you should check out Munnar in Kerala. Lots of tea plantations to be seen, and there is even a tea museum where you can see how the tea is made and drink some samples. It’s a lovely little getaway if you need it.
I want to see that bridge too! Thanks for all the tips :)
we have been to 3 places on your wish list.Pondicherry,Leh,and Darjeeling.all of which we loved for their individual uniqueness.highly recommended all.check weather first especially Leh.respect the altitude.
Wow, these places look amazing! India has never been high on my list for some reason, but places like this change my mind. India looks like such a geographically diverse country, I never realized!
It really is. Mountains, desert, jungle, beach, city…
OMG this is like my current wish list for India!! I wonder if, once you’ve seen the major sights, these are the “secondary” places for travellers – those who really love the subcontinent. I know I do!
Exactly, you’ve hit the nail on the head.
these look amazing, I actually have a been looking at a yoga school in Pondicherry, I think it would very cool and hopefully a good place to Start in India? this looks amazing, I love that once you’ve been somewhere awhile you can start to explore the lesser known places.
I think that’d be a great place to start! I’d love to go and you’re right it’s always better the second time to a place too
Eeek so many exciting places to go! I hadn’t heard of Auroville until I read an article about it last year and it seems like such a fascinating place – I too would love to visit there. Darjeeling is also right at the top of my list when I make it back to India (next year, fingers crossed!).
Awesome! Yeah I had a friend just stay at Auroville farming and she’s been telling me about how cool it was.
Your wishlist is cool! I wrote a similar post in the beginning of 2014, which had Sikkim ad Darjeeling in it. I’m glad I was able to tick off at least two of the places I put on my radar. And thank you for mentioning my blog!
You go girl! I haven’t ticked anything of my lists in a while.
That photo of Darjeeling is stunning. I love wandering through tea fields (or rice fields or any lush agriculture, is that weird?). They’re so peaceful. That would definitely be on my list and seeing a leopard would just about make my life.
The rice fields here are full of cobras lol! We just saw one last night- so scary. Other than that I would like wandering through them too :)
I loved Darjeeling and Pondicherry! I actually felt like I could have stayed and lived in Pondicherry. It had a really nice vibe to it. Darjeeling seemed more like somewhere in Nepal than India. I only recently finished drinking the tea I got there on my wanders around the tea plantations. :) You must go!
Ahhh that is great to hear. I would love to spend time in Pondi. Thanks Cyra!
Sikkim and Darjeeling are great. I’d also put Varanasi and Kashmir on the list, though I’d love to get over to Ladakh in the future. 10 times in India and there is still so much to see!
Yes, Varanasi is amazing!! You’re right India has so much you have to take many many trips to see it all.
Leh I am thinking to visit for past 2 years and unable to visit. Next year I wish and I pray I visit for sure. And Darjeeling hills photo – that is lovely snow capped mountains.
I have seen few such snow capped mountains during Uttarakhand tour. Early morning hours they look so good. Thanks for sharing beautiful photos. Keep traveling.